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2
Sat, 8/13
8:00 PM

Ratings and reviews

Travelers' Choice
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value

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Food and ambience

International, European, British, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly

Location and contact

0.6 miles from Science and Industry Museum
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About
A major success story in Manchester, the Refuge Dining Room and Public Bar – located within the magnificent Grade-II listed Kimpton Clocktower - fuses British ingredients into globally inspired small plates which are perfect for sharing.
PRICE RANGE
$31 - $49
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Brunch
CUISINES
International, European, British, Contemporary
FEATURES
Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Live Music
Reviews (1,119)
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1,106 results
Traveler rating
535
242
147
89
93
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveler rating
535
242
147
89
93
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All reviews salt cod croquettes ox cheek lamb shawarma sunday roast flatbread tapas steak pudding small plates amazing building palace theatre red cabbage sharing platter lovely venue pre theatre meal relaxed atmosphere dishes
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Reviewed 4 days ago

This was our third or fourth visit to Refuge, but the first time we’ve had the Sunday roast. The portions are EPIC. Two of us had chicken, one pork, one beef. All absolutely excellent. Delicious vegetables, perfect Yorkshire puddings, yummy gravy. They also do a...sharing platter roast which looked absolutely huge! We definitely had more than ample food with the individual portions. The weekday menu is tapas-size portions (some of which I find too spicy), but the Sunday roast is exactly what you’d expect and there are loads of extra sides you can order (cauliflower cheese, mash and lots of others). The place is a real destination venue, stunning architecture, high ceilings, beautiful tiles and original stained glass. There are two separate bars here, so if you don’t want to eat, you can just go in for a drink. I especially love the “Glamour of Manchester” mosaic mural in the dining room. There were various families dining, as well as couples and groups of friends. This place has a very laid-back vibe, definitely a place if you want to impress BUT it doesn’t compromise on quality. The staff are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. We asked for a doggy bag which came carefully wrapped in separate parcels. Our waitress was a Hungarian woman with cool tattoos and great glasses, happy to let us try a wine before we ordered it. And there was another staff member, tall chap in a dress, very flamboyant and truly fabulous! The staff seem to really enjoy working there and genuinely care about the customers. I have had so many experiences with a total lack of interest/care from waiting staff in the past, at other eateries, so this was a refreshing change. Highly recommended, will definitely go back!More

Date of visit: August 2022
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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Overall, good. It is in a five-star hotel, so it is on the expensive side. Small plates range in price but at the recommended number per person, you’d have a hefty bill. That said, the menu has a range of really innovative dishes. Would recommend...the cactus tacos and the triple cooked chips. The feijoada could have been ultra tasty, but it was so heavily salted that it was hard to finish. The pitta breads were lovely, but the sharing plate of beetroot dip was pretty small for £6. Overall, it was a nice atmosphere and the staff are obviously highly trained. The only downside, for us, was that the dj music from the bar is loud enough to be totally dominant. Perhaps we’re just too old to cope with it, but I couldn’t help thinking that it would be so much more intimate and enjoyable if there was a heavy bass pumping out.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

An absolutely outstanding location for dinner. Firstly, the venue is incredibly well designed with a great atmosphere. Visited with my family for my graduation, including my elderly grandmother and the server Becky couldn't have been more helpful. She was highly attentive, friendly and her knowledge...of the menu was outstanding - she truly made the evening. Secondly the food is the best I've had in Manchester (having lived here for 4 years) and my family loved it! Would highly recommend the green lentil Dahl, pork belly and chicken/pork tagine. Be sure to keep room for dessert! Will be back to visit very soon - thank you!More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Table booked for 1pm, Saturday lunch, restaurant was empty when we arrived which was surprising. The menu was given to us with the announcement that there was no chicken, no pork and no mussels. I was taken aback. If my time in Manchester hadn't been...limited as I was driving back up to Scotland that afternoon, I would have got up there and then and left and found somewhere else to eat. However, we decided to see what else there was to eat on the small plates menu which is what was available for Saturday lunch. I ended up paying over £90 for an underwhelming lunch - £5 for 2 slices of sourdough bread (no it wasn't 4, it was 2 slices cut in half) and a bit of herb butter - strong pricing indeed - and we drank tap water and no alcohol. I think the waitress sensed that I wasn't impressed with her announcement at the deficiencies of the menu and worked hard at being chatty and charming which I applaud her for. However, this was a very expensive and disappointing experience.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We booked a table for 2 for Sunday Roast. On arrival we were greeted by a really nice lady at the bar, ordered drinks & sat in the bar before our table at 8pm. We went through to the Restaurant & ordered a bottle of...Malbec, large Sparkling water, 2Roast Beef, & a selection of side dishes. Our server was really nice & very helpful The food came & it was cold. We asked for mew dishes, but only my meal was taken back along 2 of the 3 side dishes. My friends meal & 1 side were left to get colder still. On return, we were advised the plate was “ piping hot” The food & sides were still cold & it was not a fresh dish as the food i had cut into was the exact same food that came back. on speaking with the restaurant manager & telling him, as the plate was hot & the food not hot it appeared it had simply been microwaved or warmed under a grill he just proceeded to argue with us & tell us we were wrong. He did not say the word sorry once. We left everything & spoke to a really helpful manager with long hair who did apologise & did not ask us to pay give how awful everything was. Despite this, we didn’t eat & didn’t get chance to go & eat due to an early wake up call for work the next day. The Restaurant Manager made contact via email yet despite us leaving all the food & having an awful experience, she advised. She can offer a round ( so 2 free drinks) on our next visit as we didn’t pay a bill on the last visit. What would have been £110 bill recovered with the offer of 2 drinks. Correct - we didn’t pay a bill for freezing cold food that was sent back twice & left in its entirety & because the restaurant manager was rude, argumentative & gave awful service & told us we were wrong throughout. Think you may agreed. The food looks great! The experience on the other hand was significantly lacking The 2 stars go to the waitress & the manager with long hair who understand customer service.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Came here for a pre-theatre meal with my mum and Nan. The building is stunning and there is a super chilled atmosphere. It is perfect for people watching. The service was great, the food was delicious and also reasonably priced. Will definitely return.

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed July 6, 2022 via mobile

My boyfriend and I had a meal at the Refuge in June which we booked quite a bit in advance. We had been looking forward to this meal for a while based on previous good experiences and really good food that we had in the...past when the food was prepared by Volta - not sure if it still is? We were seated at around 7.20pm and within 10 minutes we ordered all of our food (a total of 7 dishes). We were constantly dealt with by different waitresses which isn’t an issue but made the service seem a little disorganized. My drink was brought out by a different waitress to the one who took my order and she stood at our table with her tray full of drinks, very confused as to which drink was mine so I had to remind her what my order was. About 5 minutes later, the waitress who initially took my order came to our table with my drink again but then said oh ok you’ve already been served and took the second drink away. 4 of our dishes arrived at around 8pm which is about 30 minutes after the orders were placed. Once we were done, our waitress brought over the dessert menus and left. We had to flag her down to explain that we were still waiting for the rest of the meal which I would expect a waitress to know. By around 9pm, we still hadn’t received the remaining 3 dishes so we asked the waitress if there was an issue or if the chef had forgotten about the food. The waitress didn’t explain to us if this was the case but simply sent over her manager so say that the food would be arriving. The food arrived maybe 5-10 minutes afterwards to which the waitress just said “Oh finally your food is here”. Of course, we understand that dishes vary in cooking times and there could be a bit of a wait but roughly 90 minutes wait seemed quite excessive for the food received. We would have been ok if the food received was to the usual standards but we were even more disappointed to find that the food was not as good as it used to be (except for the belly pork which was amazing!). The chicken was very dry, there was hardly any sauce with the mussels and the salmon ceviche was not fresh. Overall it was a very disappointing meal, especially for the prices and service charge added on to bills.More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed July 3, 2022 via mobile

Myself and my family came in for a drink on Sunday evening, and I couldn’t fault it. The venue was gorgeous and ambient, and our drinks (a mixture of cocktails and wines throughout the night) were expertly crafted by Jack, who cared for us throughout...the whole night, making sure our drinks were exactly to our likings and giving top-notch customer service along with the perfect drinks. Absolutely recommend for relaxed drinks, we felt very comfortable and loved soaking in the atmosphere of the night! Thanks to Jack and the team for a great evening.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed July 2, 2022

Had dinner at the refuge on friday night and it was absolutely wonderful! Lois was a star and guided us through the menu with great knowledge of all the dishes. lovely experience and will definitely be back!

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 29, 2022 via mobile

Really impressed with the meet and greet and as we were a little early enjoyed a drink at the stylish massively spacious bar. Food on menu Tapas style but portions were really generous. Really interesting flavours fresh ingredients and super tasty with a middle-eastern twist....The setting is really grand, service from Becky was excellent with the added bonus of her knowledge on the history of this beautiful building! Highly recommend but don’t over order !More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 26, 2022 via mobile

Fabulous Sunday sharing platter dinner in the private dining room, fabulous cocktails,food and wine greAt value for money compliments to the chef great experience

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 15, 2022

Kamila has great service, came in today with a mate and we were served well and kept getting quality service. They had an event on. Dining area was clean and kept tidy. Will be coming back again when I'm in the city.

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed May 30, 2022

I will start by saying, once we finally managed to get hold of a manager, he did comp the whole bill as he realised it had been a shambles, so fair play to that and I didn't pay for the meal, but: Impossible to get...hold of any staff. First lot of food luke warm and the sliced chilli on top looked about nine days old - couldn't get hold of anyone to tell them. Steak and chips took 45 mins (after asking for them to speed it up) and then steak came out stone cold. Ran out of drinks and couldn't get hold of anyone to tell them so couldn't order more.More

Date of visit: May 2022
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Kimpton C, Manager at The Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2022

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your feedback and comments, we always appreciate knowing when we fall short and when we should celebrate. We have passed on this information to the kitchen and floor team to help improve the dining experience for...More

Reviewed May 26, 2022

Cannot fault this place. Visit regularly, gets better every time. Have stayed in the hotel a few times also, so been lucky enough to sample breakfast, brunch. lunch and dinner. Faultless. So well presented. Cocktails a delight, even the mocktails are superb. They have nailed...it. A must visit, I love bringing my southern pals here, they are always blown away with the decor. 10/10More

Date of visit: May 2022
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kimpton C, Manager at The Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2022

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your feedback and comments, we always appreciate hearing the enjoyment and delight from our customers experiences. We hope to see you again soon!

Reviewed May 25, 2022

Gr8 food and service . U must try the burata and chorizo Also maftuna was a great server with a gr8 smiley face and gesture

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Kimpton C, Manager at The Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2022

We're happy to hear Maftuma made your dining experience delightful, we hope to see you again soon.

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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
CalP_12
May 3, 2021|
Answer
Response from JackDennett | Property representative |
Hey, Yes it is and heated Thank you Jack
0
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Olivia S
September 15, 2020|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from steve m | Reviewed this property |
Hi, there is no limit of age eating food.
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LilianaB1354
July 16, 2019|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Mark C | Property representative |
Hi Liliana B, Drop us a line on 0161 233 5151 and we can answer all your questions for you, Very best, Mark Clinton General Manager Refuge by Volta
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Refuge

The Refuge is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 3.5